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Gonzalo Ferreira

Associate Professor & Extension Dairy Scientist, Dairy Management
Professional photo of Dr. Gonzalo Ferreira.
School of Animal Sciences
2100 Litton-Reaves Hall
175 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Dr. Ferreira is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where his family manages a cropping and beef cow/calf farm. Dr. Ferreira obtained a degree in Agricultural Engineering from Universidad Católica Argentina (1998). Ever since he was an undergraduate student, Dr. Ferreira has always been fascinated with forage management and cattle nutrition. Because of this, immediately after graduation Dr. Ferreira performed a research internship at the USDA-Dairy Forage Research Center located in Madison, WI. As he became strongly engaged with research, Dr. Ferreira pursued a Master of Science degree in Dairy Nutrition from University of Wisconsin-Madison (2002) and a PhD degree in Dairy Nutrition from The Ohio State University (2006). After working 2 years in the industry as a technical manager for DSM Nutritional Products Argentina SA, Dr. Ferreira worked 5 years as a technical and management consultant for dairy farmers in Asociación Argentina de Consorcios Regionales de Experimentación Agrícola (AACREA). Since August, 2013, Dr. Gonzalo Ferreira has been a Dairy Management Extension Specialist in the Department of Dairy Science at Virginia Tech.

Dairy Financial Management. When attending some (if not all) of his workshops, you will hear from Dr. Ferreira that the most effective means for improving farm profitability and ensuring farm sustainability is discussing farming as a business. Since 2015, Dr. Ferreira has been delivering educational workshops about dairy enterprise management to dairy farmers. These workshops intend to build a holistic management strategy to help farmers to successfully manage their agricultural operations through periods of high risk, volatility, and financial stress. This holistic management strategy implies developing a strategic plan, building financial balance sheets and budgets, analyzing partial budgets and capital investments, and analyzing marketing or pricing strategies. These educational workshops have been delivered in several regions within Virginia and several States throughout the nation.

Forage Quality and Management. Dr. Ferreira’s extension program focuses heavily on forage quality and management. For this program, Dr. Ferreira delivers educational on-farm workshops and produces diverse extension fact-sheets and educational videos. He also writes popular press articles in several magazines, such as Hoard’s Dairyman, Hay & Forage Grower, and Dairy Herd Management among others.

Labor Management. Dr. Ferreira is convinced visual and hands-on learning experiences accelerate the learning processes of employees. As such, Dr. Ferreira develops educational videos, some of them in Spanish with scripts in English, to improve the training process of the labor force of dairy farms.

Applied Dairy Nutrition. Dr. Ferreira’s research program evaluates how agronomic practices and abiotic stresses affect the nutritional composition of forages, as well as dairy cattle production performance and nutrient utilization. Dr. Ferreira’s laboratory also investigates the effects of B-vitamin supplementation on performance and metabolism in dairy cattle.

Although Dr. Ferreira's appointment is research and extension, he lectures in a few courses, such as and Applied Dairy Cattle Nutrition and Advance Dairy Management Evaluation (also known as Dairy Challenge).

  • 2006  -  Ph.D., The Ohio State University-OARDC, Dairy Nutrition
  • 2002  -  M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dairy Nutrition
  • 1998 -  B.S.,  Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias: Agricultural Production
  • DSM Nutritional Products. 2008 Ruminant Research and Marketing Plan for Latin America (funding granted). Presented as the Leader for Ruminants in Latin America (2007).
  • American Dairy Science Association. ADSA Dairy Production Graduate Student Paper Competition (3rd place). Title: "Effect of Biotin Supplementation on Biotin Status of Lactating Dairy Cows of Different Milk Yields." July, 2005, Cincinnati, OH.
  • Ohio State University Nutrition (OSUN) Program. Graduate Student Poster Competition (3rd place). Title: "Biotin status of lactating dairy cows of different milk yields supplemented with different amounts of biotin." June, 2005, Columbus, OH.
  • Ohio Dairy Producers Competitive Grant. “Biotin status of lactating dairy cows of different productions and supplemented with different levels of biotin.” Ferreira, G. and W. P. Weiss (2005).

2019 - present
Associate Professor, Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Tech

2013- 2019
Assistant Professor, Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Tech                  

Extensionist and Consultant in Dairy Business, CREA Navarro and CREA Lincoln Asociación Argentina de Consorcios Regionales de Experimentación Agropecuaria

Regional Leader of Ruminant Species for Latin America, Animal Nutrition and Health DSM Nutritional Products

Nutritionist and Technical Manager, Animal Nutrition and Health, DSM Nutritional Products Argentina SA

Graduate Research Associate. Department of Animal Sciences
The Ohio State University-OARDC

Graduate Research Associate. Dairy Science Department
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Research Intern. Dairy Forage Research Center, Madison, WI, United States Department of Agriculture

Junior Nutritionist and Grazing Manager. La Leocadia Beef Ranch,  Lincoln, Buenos Aires, Argentina     

Intern (monitoring weeds and pests in soybean and sunflower crops), Lacau Hnos, SRL Lincoln, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Preventing silage-related injuries and fatalities among farm workers

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Winter Crops as a Feed Source for Dairy Cattle

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Management of compost-bedded pack barns

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Determining Harvesting Time for Corn Silage

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For additional videos by Dr. Ferreira, visit his YouTube channel at:

Related Articles

Pre- and Post-Harvesting Practices to Maximize Corn Silage Production and Utilization
(video from 2022 World Dairy Expo)